If you need a briefing on the history of Facebook, I recommend you watch The Social Network because beyond its accuracy, it is also a stellar movie with a score like no other. But just in case the movie isn’t on Netflix, I’ll set the scene. Originally named “The Facebook,” the now internationally used website was created by Mark Zuckerberg when he was a twenty-three year old student at Harvard University (Phillips). The site circulated through Harvard and once it spread to high schools and universities across the globe in 2005, the site finally known as “Facebook.com” was thriving. With users now clocking in at one billion and counting, Facebook is officially the number one social network (Vaughan-Nichols).
In an interview at Beijing’s Tsignhua University, Mark Zuckerberg said, “I feel that the best companies are started not because the founder wanted a company but because the founder wanted to change the world” (Guilford and Sonnad).
There is no doubt Facebook did change the world. Even beyond its members, Facebook has prominently shaped society. It is time we step back and look at this modern age of people. I’m not about to rant about the generally accepted idea that social media is molding us all into hermits (Bloomfield). We may not be as narcissistic or anti-social as a few psychologists will have you believe, but we are changing. And in a lot of ways, it is indeed for the worse.
Facebook has a lot of minor setbacks. For instance, when you created an account at age thirteen, liked two thousand plus pages, from The Cool Side of the Pillow to Avril Lavigne, and now as a seventeen year old, you have to dedicate an entire Saturday to unliking cringe worthy butunfortunately documented moments of your early teen years. But the cons go deeper than that. Facebook has encouraged our ability to categorize people. If a person kept those aforementioned pages from four years ago, they would be seen as immature. With the site’s options to add your music taste, political views, and everything in between, Facebook allows people to jump to judgment in a matter of clicks. Facebook is the easiest way to check compatibility and we must realize if this selectivity based on a profile alone creates tunnel vision in the way we see our friends, rather than a convenient eagle eye.
I will admit there are plenty of pros to Facebook, but people aren’t looking at the basic changes in interaction amplified through social media. Not every Facebook user falls fault to this, but we need to check ourselves for this negative behavior and decide individually whether or not Facebook is at the heart of it.